by Lee Franklin October 17, 2019
If you search Instagram for the 1970s you can’t fail to find @lauras70slife … I have been a big fan of her feed for a while now and was so excited when she agreed to collaborate with us on a House Tour. Laura’s home is a fabulous tribute the 1970s. Every corner and surface is filled with original 70s pieces and her whole apartment is a riotous, joyful dedication to a fabulous decade!
Laura, please tell us all about your love of the 70s … when did it begin and why do you love it so much?
I fell in love with the 70's when I visited a 70's decorated home with my parents when I was a child. This interior style intrigued me - orange and brown - such a weird combination! I love the 70's for different reasons. It's in the first place about the the design: hysteric patterns, crazy colours, plastic everywhere, loads of flowers and of course orange and brown as the main colours. But besides that, the beginning of the 70's was a very joyful period. I think of happy floral dresses, disco nights, vinyl on the turntable, board games and new perspectives for the future. It was an era where people where very hopeful for the future.
I read a lovely reference in your Instagram feed about a longing for a more connected society, so is it also about the values and lifestyle of the 1970s?
Oh yes. What I love about the 70's that there was no internet yet! Maybe things did cost more time, but it was easier as well. I think minds of the people where not overloaded yet with information. If you wanted to know something, you had to go to library or look it up in the encyclopedia. And there was no TV all day, when people did watch TV it was an activity you did together. There was more connection and no distraction from screens. I think people were more grateful for the things they had. We now live in a society where nearly everything is possible. That gives a lot of stress. I prefer the more easy 70's lifestyle!
Besides that products were made to last for a lifetime. I still use a coffee machine from 1971, because it's made of good quality! My couch is from 1968 and it's still very comfortable. Sustainability is a big topic which I want to share with my home. Re-use good products and don't buy stuff which will need replacement in a short time.
Your home is a fabulous collection of vintage 70s items, where do you source all of these amazing things?
Most of the things come from thrift stores. That means visiting these shops 3, 4 times a week. I don't have a car, so I have to take 'em by bike. Some items are gifted by friends or just random people who know about my 70's love. That are the most special items, because they were giving to me with love.
Has it taken long to create such a wonderful collection?
In one year the biggest part was done. I had a film crew coming over after one year, so in two weeks I worked VERY hard to finish all the last details! But now all spaces in my home are like stepping into the 70's: my living room, kitchen, balcony, hallway, bathroom, toilet, and sleeping room!
What is your favourite item?
That depends on my mood and new incoming items :). But I would say that my plastic orange Space Age salon table is a real eye catcher. It's a unique table, there are only 20, or less, made of them. They were uniquely made for a Dutch hotel in the 70's. In the middle of the table there are holes for drinking bottles, that's bizarre right? It looks like a UFO and I'm in love with this crazy table.
Do you have a favourite designer from this period?
No, but I love everything that is plastic and colourful. I do have loads of Brabantia kitchen gear, it's orange and floral. It was very popular in the Netherlands during the 70's.
You obviously have quite a strict colour palette, has this been a conscious design choice or is it just a bi-product of the era?
I buy the stuff I love. I cannot live in a house without colours. For me it's the more the better. The 70's style match exactly with my taste; and it's a unique way to decorate my home. There's no other house in this world with the same interior like mine. I painted the stripes on the wall myself, brought every single piece together from different places. And it's a match. My salon table just won't fit in any other interior style. I just follow my heart and my feeling in this. If my heart jumps up when seeing an item; then it belongs in my home.
You have quite a few vintage appliance and gadgets, do you use these on a daily basis or are they purely aesthetic?
Most of the gadgets I use on daily basis. When I find something vintage I replace it with my modern variant. For example, the coffee machine, turntable, TV, clock, etc.
But there are gadgets for aesthetic reasons as well :) I want to create a space like it was in the 70's, so I have for example a hairdryer I don't use, as well as a metronome for my organ or a 70's shaving set. That's purely aesthetic - to go back in time and see all these beautifully designed gadgets lying around, like I can grab and use 'em any moment.
Your home has had some media attention, I believe it has been featured in a few magazines and I spy a photo on your Instagram feed of a TV camera in your home …. Care to tell us about that?
My home had loads of media attention. It has been in several Dutch media, from newspapers to glossy's, and it went international as well! I couldn't believe that my home was featured in the Daily Mail! It was on Apartment Therapy, a big big American interior blog and even in an Australian magazine. This spring a Dutch TV crew came to film my house and the media attention is still going on. I hope that my home, my love for the 70's and especially the story about connection and sustainability inspires people all over the world. It's not just about my home.
Check out more fabulous photos on Laura’s Instagram @lauras70slife
Photo credits: All photos kindly provided by Laura.
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Hi there! We are mad bad fans of eclectic vintage and retro style ...
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Inkabilly is husband-and-wife team Lee and Karl. A mid century obsessed couple who've been designing and creating our vintage-inspired homewares, accessories and gifts in our Bristol studio, UK since 2010. We love to mix up our Retro! So in our emporium you will find a happy, eclectic mix of nostalgic and kitsch designs inspired by the 50's, 60's & 70's.